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December 31, 2011

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New Year's Eve festivities, deals set at city tourist spots

People can watch the sunrise, ascend tall observation towers, go shopping and enjoy favorable prices for tourist sites in Shanghai on the New Year's Day holiday.

Locals are invited to watch the sunrise from the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center tomorrow. The observatory platform will open at 6am, two hours earlier than usual. The sun will rise at 6:53am that day, the center says.

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Observatory Deck of the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and 10 other famous tourist sites in the Pudong New Area will offer 50 percent discounts today to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Most hotels, including the five-star ones in Pudong, will offer half off tonight through reservation on

The annual sales champion on the New Year's holiday - the Next Age Department Store in Pudong - has decided to prolong its discount sale from one day to three days for the first time to decrease the pressure. The sales starts today.

Local tourist spots will be lit up between 6pm and 11:30pm tonight, except for the Bund and Lujiazui area which have their own countdown plans and will stay alight until after midnight.

The lighting time tomorrow and on Monday is between 6pm and 10:30pm.

The city will enjoy good weather for the New Year's Day holiday. It will be sunny to cloudy from today to Monday, but it will turn to overcast on Tuesday. Drizzle will fall late Tuesday, forecasters said.

The maximum temperature over the holiday will range between seven and 10 degrees, after lows around four to five degrees, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Meanwhile, local hospitals will stop outpatient services from tomorrow to Tuesday, while emergency service is available all day and night during the three-day holiday.

Major banks in Shanghai will open most of their outlets in busy downtown shopping areas or residential areas to meet the demand of retail banking services during the holiday.

The Shanghai branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China will open half of its outlets on Monday. On January 2, the bank will resume normal operating schedules. The Shanghai branch of Bank of China will open 60 percent to 70 percent of its outlets in the city on Monday.

Where you can go tonight to participate in the New Year's Eve countdown:

The Bund

A 3D light show with fireworks will be held at the Bund as midnight approaches. Shanghai landmarks and natural scenes will be reflected in a three-dimensional way on the exterior walls of the classic constructions on the Bund. Starting from 11:45pm, the show will last for about seven minutes. But authorities may limit the volume of people if huge crowds swarm to the Bund.


A live show, including the New Year countdown, will be held at Xintiandi. Several stars from Hong Kong and Taiwan will attend the show starting from 9:30pm. The event has become a major countdown events in Shanghai.

Longhua Temple

Striking a temple bell 108 times starting at midnight on New Year's Eve at Longhua Temple is said to absolve sin and bring luck. Even if people don't strike the bell, they can receive new year blessings from the temple monks tonight.

Baohua Temple

The temple in Zhabei District is not as famous as Longhua Temple, but the newly restored sacred place organizes many traditional games, and blessing activities will be held in the temple tonight. This year the main theme will be "peace and harmony," hoping that the city will have a peaceful year in 2012.


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